The spirit of the Carpathians. Bohorodchany
In the southwestern part of Ukraine everyone can find the Carpathian Mountains. They are divided into Gorhany (the highest peak Syvulia is 1,836 m high) and Chornohory (the highest peak Hoverla is 2,061m high). So, the Ukrainian Carpathians are not very high. But this is a splendid and unforgettable sight. The rapid waves of the mountain rivers clearly break over the steep banks. The high hills stretch to the blue sky. A lot of peaks are covered with snow even in early summer. Aromatic forests greet you with the cool and heady air of fir trees.
The Carpathians have the summits and gentle slopes. There are many treeless summits, which are called polonynas. The mountains have mostly coniferous and deciduous trees. You can find fir, pine, oak, beech, birch, hornbeam and linden in those places. The wealth of the forests includes also a variety of berries and a great number of mushrooms and medicinal herbs.
Among all this beauty many animals live. The animal rife of the Carpathians is unique. We can find roe-deer, fox, marten, wild boar, wolf, hare, mink, lynx, badger, stoat, deer, bear which dwell here. Rich and varied is the world of birds. Black-cock, golden eagle, woodpecker, stone thrush fondle us their songs and majesty. In spring the plateaus are abloom with saffron, primrose, mercury, snowdrop, edelweiss.
There are many legends about the springs with the healthy water! The swift rivers take their sources in the mountains. The Bystrytsia and Limnytsia, the Svicha and Prut, the Cheremosh and Lukva make the blue roads through the green forests and yellow valleys.
Wonderful and hard-working people live in this land of beauty called the Subcarpathian region. They use the nature's gifts in their life but try to keep its grandeur. According to the way of living, the people are divided into the inhabitants of towns and villages. But most people live in the villages. Everyone knows they are hospitable, friendly and lavish.
This region has a rich and glorious history. The territory of our land was settled nearly 100,000 years ago. More than 20 settlements of Trypillia were found in Precarpathian region in Gorodenka, Kolomyia and Sniatyn districts. But this land is famous for today's national roots too. The works of carving, embroidering, weaving, ceramics and engraving are known all over Ukraine and in many countries of the world. The best craftsmen make real masterpieces using wood.
If you want to see the old traditions, welcome to Precarpattia. We'll teach you to dance kolomyika and to sing folk songs and carols, to play the trembita and to cook real varenyky, kulish and brynza. We'll show you genuine Ukrainian Hutsul wedding in their original costumes. You will have a chance to listen to the interesting stories about glorious past, nowadays life and plans for future of ordinary Ukrainians near the real vatra. If you like different curious tales we'll tell you true stories about the unusual inhabitants of ancient castles, about today's residents of the forests: mavkas, vodianyks, lisovyks, rusalkas, and domovyks that are members of the family and live in each house. Don't be afraid of them. They are very friendly and kind creatures. But be careful of bad witches and spirits that can stand on your way.
The legends and true stories are described in the works of our poets and writers. Maybe you've heard about such outstanding people of Subcarpathian region as Vasyl' Stefanyk,
Les' Martovych, Marko Cheremshyna, Antin Mohyl'nyts'kyi. The best classics of Ukrainian art M.Kotsiubyns'kyi, L.Ukrainka, H.Chotkevich, M.Lysenko, M.Zan'kovets'ka, I.Franko liked to work and rest near the Carpathians. Many poets and writers, painters and composers glorify our rich and wonderful land. The name of Nastia Lisovs'ka or Roksolana is known all over the world. She was the favourite wife of Suleiman sultan of Turkey.Roksolana came from Galicia, she was a very educated, clever and pretty woman who made a large contribution to the history of two countries.
The picturesque Ivano-Frankivs'k region is situated in the southwest of Ukraine at the foothills of the Ukrainian Carpathians. Prycarpattia stretches for 143 kilometres from east to west and 196 kilometres from north to south. We see that in the northwest this region borders on Ternopil' region, in the southeast on Chernivtsi region and in the southwest on Tranthcarpathian region. The state border between Ukraine and Rumania runs to the south of Ivano-Frankivs'k region.
The region covers the territory of 13,9 thousand square kilometres and has a population of 1,5 million people, mostly Ukrainians. The regional centre is Ivano-Frankivs'k. Bohorodchany, Dolyna, Halych, Horodenka, Kalush, Kolomyia, Kosiv, Nadvirna, Rohatyn, Rozhniativ, Sniatyn, Tlumach, Tysmenyts'a, Verkhovyna are the district centres. Every populated area has its rich history presented by monuments or memorials to the past or nature. But there are many special places that welcome tourists mostly from various parts of Ukraine or world. They are the nature resorts. Yaremche, Maniava, Guta, Osmoloda, Vorokhta, Bubnyshche attract a lot of people each season. Halych, Krylos, Rohatyn, Hoshiv, Otyniya, Kuty are the famous places of the past. There are many routes of tourists' paths which can help you to learn Prykarpattia better. Welcome to our land!
And now some words about my native town. I live in a small settlement which is situated in the picturesque corner of the Carpathian Mountains. Its name is Bohorodchany. It is a small but very beautiful town. Bohorodchany isn't very old. It dates back to 1631 but there is a village near it which has already celebrated its 560lh anniversary and was the basis of today's town. Bohorodchany lies on the right bank of the River Bystrytsia Solotvyns'ka, the tributary of the Prut. The population is 8 thousand people. They like the town and take care of its prosperity and harmony.
Let's make an imaginary excursion along the town's streets. Our excursion will not be very long because I'll stop on the most important sights. Frankly speaking, our town became beautiful due to foreign builders: they built fine and modern buildings for the townspeople. Now we have houses which look the same as in Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, and Poland. That's why it looks like a real small European settlement. And one time there was an intention to rename it to the town of Druzhba (Friendship). But the old name keeps its strength. So, our town is named after the goddess and there are some legends about her intercession for the inhabitants of these places.
There are a lot of historical monuments in Bohorodchany. I want to start with two churches which are our pride. In the 18th century, there was a Dominican monastery here. It was the large complex of buildings. Today there is anOrthodox Church there. On one of its walls we can see the bas-relief to the famous man Olexa Dovbush. According to legend Olexa with his legins attacked the Fortress of Bohorodchany and burned it down. The remnants of the walls of the fortress are at the river. The other Greek-Catholic Church is a tall and magnificent edifice. There is a statue to our patron goddess near it. On the walls of this church there are two memorial plaques to G.Chomyshyn and I.Latyshevs'kyi.
Our town is famous for the great Ukrainian patriot Olexa Hirnyk who was born in it. He had burned himself in Kaniv on Chernecha Hill in a protest to the then politics. There is a monument near his native house and the bas-relief on the building of school # 1 named after him. Bohorodchany is known for the iconstand which is the masterpiece of the Ukrainian painting of the 18th century by Iov Kondslevych. It is exhibited in L'viv now.
There are some more monuments to the past in our town: the bas-relief to P.Martynets' (a strilets' of Sich) and D.Mysuchin (a hero of the war), a monument to the tortured soldiers of UUA, a memorial complex to those who died in World War II, a symbolic tomb to the fighters for the freedom of Ukraine, a monument and a bas-relief to T.Shevchenko. It was the glorious past of our town. But nowadays the inhabitants of Bohorodchany live and work to show the beauty of today's life. Among the majestic nature people have built different enterprises. The largest one is the gas-compressor station on the oil pipelines and the gas mains.
If you are in the Carpathians, you can visit Bohorodchany driving from Ivano-Frankivs'k to Guta or Maniava. You'll like it. You'll rest in the nature's lap, enjoy fresh air and clean water, visit good and hospitable people and forget about your everyday life in town.